The dog days of summer suck. It’s the void of the college hockey season where team Twitter accounts tease fans by posting pictures of center ice with the season four months away (I’m looking at you, Providence and Northern Michigan). This is actually my first offseason with this blog, so I’ll have to think of ways to fill the void until the exhibitions start up.
Eventually, I’ll be previewing the season for all of the Hockey East schools, along with my standings predictions.
And I’ll have an alumni update done at some point, I swear. But for now, plenty of news to report over the last few weeks.
- Rachael Ade has become the third former Catamount (after Amanda Pelkey and Meghan Huertas) to join the National Women’s Hockey League, signing with the New Haven-area-based Connecticut Whale on June 20. (Yes, I know Huertas transferred out, but…still counts.)
- The connections between the Cats and the Whale don’t end there, as on May 25 the team hired Jess Koizumi as associate head coach, replacing Kelly Nash. Koizumi was captain of the Whale during the 2015/16 NWHL season and scored the first goal in league history. She’s no stranger to coaching, either, having been associate head coach Ohio State last season in addition to a few seasons as an assistant at Yale.
- Bryce Misley was drafted in the fourth round of the NHL Draft by the Minnesota Wild with the 116th overall pick. UVM has been addressing him online as an incoming freshman, which means it’s likely he’ll be coming a year ahead of time, which is what I honestly expected.
- The names of twelve UVM recruits have appeared in the school directory, which means we should have a huge crop of incoming freshman talent. Those names are Tyler Harmon, Matt Beck, Christian Evers, Brian Kelly, Cory Thomas, Owen Grant, Max Kaufman, Alex Esposito, Vlad Dzhioshvili, Martin Fréchette, Ace Cowans, and the aformentioned Misley.
- The interesting part about that list: Jacob Kamps is not on it. I’ve heard nothing about him decommitting, so it’s very possible he just opted out of the directory, but it’s still something to keep an eye on as he has aged out of junior hockey.
- Still haven’t heard anything on the Ori Abramson situation, but if Thomas is coming in I would bet towards him getting denied.
- UVM alumnus Connor Brickley was claimed by the Vegas Golden Knights in their Expansion Draft, but you probably already knew that.
- Another alumnus, Anders Franzon, announced his retirement following the conclusion of his season with Sheffield Steelers. Good luck on your future endeavors, Anders!
- As for the schedule, there’s only a few games remaining with teams that didn’t already announce their schedules: two each with BC, Merrimack, and Maine, and three with UNH and UConn. Based on years past I would guess: BC is at home, Maine and Mack away, UNH and UConn two away/one home. Notre Dame leaving really gives the schedulemakers a headache, since a large part of why UConn came to Hockey East was to ease scheduling…
AROUND HOCKEY EAST
- HUGE bombshell dropped on the eve of the draft: Eeli Tolvanen, BC’s top recruit this year, was rejected by admissions. With each of their top 5 scorers from last season either graduating or turning pro, and a recruiting class that isn’t really what you’d expect from a BC side, they could be in for a down year next year. Of course, Jerry Yawk is Jerry Yawk, so they’ll find a way to squeak into the tournament.
- Only one conference had at least one player picked from each team. Hockey East. (Barely – Lowell’s first pick of the day, Croix Evingston, was taken with pick #211. Thanks, Vegas, for the extra seven picks!)
- Hockey East is discussing dumping the “octofinals” and replacing them with the 1-8 system from years past. I like it, it would make the regular season more meaningful even if it means UVM’s chances of hosting a playoff series decrease by a lot. Watching the Maine series last year was fun as a fan…but the neutrals were probably like “STOP STOP THEY’RE ALREADY DEAD.”